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“Not a 4 star... more of a 3 star let-down”

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LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in Mellieha
Reviewed June 30, 2013

As a couple who like a little peaceful relaxation, we chose the Riviera in Malta due to it being advertised as secluded and it definitely delivered in that respect. I would go as far as saying it is quiet remote, with almost nothing else within walking distance except a bus stop, ferry terminal, scuba centre and a couple of boat trip/hire places. The bus is apparently very cheap, they do an “all day” ticket.

Upon arriving at the hotel, we learnt very quickly that the staff seem to be either helpful and friendly, or, miserable and surly. Unfortunately we encountered the latter all too often at the Riviera. We did, however, find some members of staff particularly cheerful throughout the week, especially Mary on reception, the girl regularly on the pool bar (I can’t remember her name) and Wayne and Mladen in the Charley Noble bar.

The Riviera building is very impressive and well finished in all the communal areas, with lavish amounts of marble and art. It is sadly let-down by the rooms, which are finished to a basic, but acceptable standard. The bathroom particularly was in need of renovation, with a leaking shower head and a general dated décor and fittings. The biggest let-down of all was the appalling air-conditioning which made the night’s heat unbearable. The hotel reception (and inevitably the response they’ll leave below) says it is controlled centrally, and comes on at 2pm, but as other reviews have shown it rarely stays on more than an hour or two. We ended up sleeping with the balcony door open every night.

The food was ok but not excellent. We managed to find something adequate every meal, however the selection was quite limited e.g.: 1 fish course, 1 meat course (a variation on meat with gravy every meal) and 1 vegetarian option for dinner (mainly pasta) plus a selection of salad (some quite tired) with roasted or boiled potatoes and rice (no chips), it was quite surprising that they didn’t serve ham and cold meat for lunch (for those who like sandwiches). The snacks in-between the meals served in 2 bars were appalling, and kept un-refrigerated. What struck us the most was that you couldn’t buy ice cream in the pool or lobby bar or any decent snacks other than crisps. I am astounded by the good reviews on the food. Having stayed at other AI hotels we have come to expect better, and the Riviera has much to learn in this respect.

The entertainment was dire and was the biggest disappointment at this hotel. It consisted of a bloke singing and playing a keyboard in a truly eurovision style almost every night, except when the animation team attempted a “disco” using the same 20 or so tracks they seem to play all day every day.

To conclude, this is much more like a 3 star hotel. Having paid the same money to stay in other AI hotels who have a much better variety and quality of food, better entertainment and ice cream, burgers, salad, etc available as snacks at all times, we found our stay here a little lacking. We had an acceptible stay but we wouldn’t choose to return to the Riviera.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SvenDGAF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Dear Sir, Madam,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

It is always great when our Team Members are mentioned for delivering a good service. Your comments are greatly appreciated and have been shared with the persons concerned. Their efforts will be recognised
.
I am sorry to read , that not all staff members could provide you with equivalent service.

We are saddened to note ,that our kitchen did not lift up to your expectations. We do our outmost with offering 3 different types of restaurants , to meet as many different tastes as possible.

I have shared your observations regarding snacks with the relevant heads of department and together we will look into the best way of addressing the points raised.

The points regarding our entertainment and Animation Team , will be discussed in our next management meeting.

Regards

Guest Relations Executive

Vicky Zammit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 29, 2013

We stayed at the Riviera for two weeks in June.

Positives were:
Clean rooms
Some lovely staff who would go out of their way to help you. The animation team were good fun. Plenty of activities for kids.
The evening food was pretty good - we had some excellent meals at the bistro restaurant and there was a trattoria serving pizzas which we enjoyed going to. The evening buffet some nights was really good.
There was always enough sun beds and the pools were never that full.
Good location to do trips to Gozo and Comino.

The negatives:
The hotel is looking v tired.
As another reviewer has mentioned the lifts broke down constantly or took forever to come. Wasn't the end of the world as we took the stairs.
We ended up paying 28 Euros for the room safe which I think is cheeky as it was advertised as being included. Most hotels we have been in haven't charged for this. And considering it claims to be 4 star and clearly isn't I don't think they can justify this.
You had to get up v early to book the bistro. I tried at 9am and it was fully booked only it wasn't really fully booked as they must save a lot of tables for paying guests. The times we went there there were always lots of free tables.
Breakfasts was ok but I have had far better at other all inclusive hotels which offered much wider selection such as croissants, pastries, crepes, waffles, much wider range of fruit etc. And the orange juice was well watered down. And what is it about the really small plates they love to use? I suppose it stopped me eating that much. Lunch often seemed to be the leftovers from the night before. Snacks were also a bit rubbish - for example a couple of times it was slices of cold pasta bake and they ran out constantly.

Other things. It was remote but as we wanted a peaceful location and had a car it was fine. Cocktails were a bit hit and miss. Sometimes they were delicious sometimes they were just too sweet as they used so much syrup/cordials which would send most people into a diabetic coma. We also picked up a stomach bug on the last day which we still have two days later. I had wondered whether someone with a bug had swam in the pool but it could have been from anything. Malta is a great country to visit with so much to see and we did a day trip to Sicily which we also really enjoyed. I'd go back to Malta but would definitely chose a different hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank amanda s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam.,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your detailed feedback following your visit to the Riviera Resort & Spa.

The Sol le Mar Bistro ( a la Carte) has a certain amount of bookings for our All- Inclusive guests available.Our restaurant managers make sure, that the same bookings from the day before , will not be accepted the following day again, so that all our guests will have the possibility to enjoy our Sol le Mar Bistro.

I am sorry that our Breakfast Buffet selection was not to your fully satisfaction. Please be aware that our breakfast chef is always at hand to provide our guests with assistance with any specific requests or orders.

We promise you that your points will be shared with the respective departments for any improvement necessary. On the other hand, thank you for also mentioning the good areas.

Regards

Vicky Zammit

Guest Relations Executive

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Nice Hotel for relaxing and long walks as long as your expectations are not set too high. This is an all inclusive hotel. It has nice indoor and outdoor pools and spa. With young amateur animators that do their best to create a good atmosphere . The buffet meals are very average, the small trattoria belonging to the hotel is much better. All inclusive drinks are unbranded, branded drinks are extra against payment.
All in all, hotel is not bad. Would visit again.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Canuckimpressions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your review!

I am pleased to note that you enjoyed our In /Outdoor facilities

It is always great when our Team Members are identified for delivering a good service. Our Animation team is doing their outmost to keep all guests happy and entertained.

Thank you for mentioning our Trattoria. and I am pleased that you enjoyed the food.

I was delighted to read that you would consider visiting the Riviera Resort & Spa again.


Regards

Guests Relations Executive

Vicky Zammit

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We were looking for a peaceful holiday, but this took the biscuit! It was VERY remote. Just rocks and the sea , oh and a diving centre if you were into that type of thing. The 50m walk to the bus stop they claim, is actually 300m up a very steep hill. There was nothing at all within reasonable walking distance. Nice views of the sea, and boat trips went from opposite the hotel. They boasted a private beach with all the AI facilities the hotel had. All they had were some nice loungers, but no cushions and a snack and soft drinks bar that was closed as they were still working on it and it was a building site. The room was nowhere near a 4 star, very basic. The food was just scraping a 2 star and it's got to be the WORST choice of snacks I have ever seen in any AI hotel. We missed breakfast one morning and all that was on offer was a ham and lettuce roll or some strange kofta things. These were kept in a non refrigerated glass cabinet in the sun-strewn Lobby bar. I looked in there one mid afternoon and all the rolls had gone, but the kofta things were still there curled up along with small pieces of bread topped with what looked like cream cheese and an olive...again all curled up. YUCK! Food otherwise was very boring and very little choice. Lots of the meals screamed re-hashed leftovers. Don't try the pizzas in the tratoria if you want to keep your teeth intact!
Not bad entertainment, some nights, in the pub type bar. Usual holiday hotel type. Getting a drink was another game all together. The very busy bar was staffed by 2 servers, no waiter service was available, Clearing tables of used glasses and spillage was very sparse, and the 2 serving would be down to 1 or none if the mood took them and they went to the room behind. Can't blame them, really. The bar was well understaffed. All inclusive was safe for the owners as you couldn't get more than a few drinks (2 or 3) each evening. One evening we didn't want the noise of the disco so went to the Lobby Bar, but there was was no escape as the room where the music was played was open plan and the disco could be heard everywhere, including the "quiet, relaxing" Lobby bar. The one redeeming feature for us was the cleanliness of our room. ( a bus ride from the lift to reception/ restaurant), It was immaculate and bedding and towels changed a few times in the week we were there. Some staff in the dining room were miserable and could do with some customer service training and be taught how to smile and be pleasant. They'd find their tips improving if they did. One restaurant waiter/bar help. Antonioli, from Sicily was a lovely lad, and the miserable old man behind the restaurant bar/the pub type bar, became quite friendly once we had a little conversation with him. The Scottish lady on reception is lovely and very helpful. We won't go there again as there is a difference between peaceful and remote. They have much to learn about All Inclusive.

Room Tip: Don't have a "Country" view room. The rooms are miles away from the lifts and the view...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank tinawill20172017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was saddened to read your review.

Our aim is, to exceed our customers’ expectations and it is evident that on this occasion we have failed. I am disappointed that you left the hotel feeling far from satisfied .

During your stay we were still in the progress of finishing the new Beach Bar of Hola Beach, so I apologize that you did not get a chance to use our new facilities.

Regarding your comments to our snacks, I will forward them to our Chef and his Team..

I am pleased to read ,that you were satisfied with our Room Service. Thank you for mentioning our staff. , I will pass your kind comments to the persons concerned.

I apologise for the inconvenience which you experienced during your stay and please be rest assured that your points have been taken on board.


Regards


Guests Relations Executive


Vicky Zammit

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

The positives,It was in a nice quiet location,Close to Ferry Terminal for trips to Gozo & Comino beautiful islands well worth a visit.Close to bus stop for trips to Valletta & Sliema. The negatives,Hotel in long overdue for refurbishment.The lifts were constantly out of order as was the Sauna and Steam rooms.At breakfast there was no fresh fruit or juices main breakfast served on tea plates.Main food menus were dissapointing,The Spiro resturant was "always fully booked"although it appeared very empty at all times.There new beach bar was only available from 10-6 on an all inclusive basis.Most of the staff were pleasant particularly Karen in the "Lobby bar".
Our room No233 had nice view of Pool and Sea but the lights and aircon were on a sensor so when we went to bed the air con switched off!!.We feel so dissapointed with the package that was being offered we are going to make a formal complaint to the Malta Tourism Authority as this hotel does not do Malta justice.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Primarily, kindly accept our apologies for not meeting your expectations during your stay with us.
Your comments have been read with concern

We apologise that during your stay the lifts and the Steam room were under maintenance and for any inconvenience ,because of this situation.
Our Air conditioners are switched on automatically at certain times. The timings for June were from 4pm till 1am..

For breakfast we are offering mostly apples ,oranges or melons.. Fresh juices can be ordered against a payment.
For our Sole le Mar Bistro are reservations required. It is based on a " first come, first served" priciple.Since breakfast starts from 7 am , we start to accept bookings from that time onwards. For most a la Carte restaurants in All Inclusive Resorts on the maltese islands a reservation is required.

Nevertheless, your feedback has been discussed with our Operations and Food & Beverage team for any action.

Regards

Guest Relations Executive



Vicky Zammit

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Food was the same every lunch time and dinner was the same every night. Poor food hygiene. Staff very rude, with a few exceptions Rooms not clean and bathrooms leave a lot to be desired for cleanliness. Spa did not feel clean and to be avoided. No understanding of what all inclusive means, not paying half the normal price. They are apparently closing to refurbish carpets and bathrooms, sadly they may have lost business by not doing this sooner. I have wanted to visit Malta for some years now, unfortunately we chose this hotel which means that although Malta is a beautiful island we will not be returning.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Marrianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2013

Dear Madam,

I was saddened to read that on this occasion we did not live up to your expectations.

I was sorry to hear that the food was not to your liking. We do our outmost to meet the tastes and preferences different nationalities. For variety we offer our guests 3 types of restaurants which all offer different dishes.

We are very concerned about the points you have raised and shall be addressing them to the respective heads of department.

Conclusivly I would like to apologise for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your stay with us.

Regards

Guests Relations Executive

Vicky Zammit

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013 via mobile

The hotel is in quite a remote location on the north coast of Malta looking over to the Islands of Comino and Gozo. Despite its 'out of town' location everywhere on the Malta is easily accessible by bus with a bus stop just 100 yards away from the hotel.
The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful and can't do enough to ensure your stay is an enjoyable one.
The food is varied, well presented and there really is something for everyone. My husband is a fussy eater and he loved the variety and quality of what was on offer.
The spa area is wonderful and a very relaxing area to enjoy some 'out of the sun' bathing. There are lots of treatments available at very reasonable rates but unfortunately we ran out of time to try them this time
If there were any negatives in respect of our stay, it would be that some aspects of the rooms could do with freshening up, bathrooms in particular and that the air conditioning system needs to be modernised and more effective at cooling the rooms at night.
The all-inclusive snacks could do with a re-think. The odd filled roll and something on a slice of baguette is not really what the all inclusive holiday maker desires. We don't all sit by the pool all day so as not to miss the lunchtime meal in the restaurant. A packed lunch is offered however, this is not always a practical option when out all day in 30 degrees plus of heat sightseeing and travelling around. Maybe something easy like a slice of pizza, char grilled fresh vegetables ( that you have in abundance ) or a simple burger in a bun would bridge the gap until dinner when you return mid to late afternoon.
All in all an enjoyable first trip to Malta and we will be returning to this beautiful island later this year.

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
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1  Thank zayaan1701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean M, Guest Relations Manager at LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

Your positive comments relating to our Team Members and quality / variety of food, will be shared with pleasure.Your suggestions and tips regarding the snacks will be forwarded to the department concerned.

We are happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and to that end I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Regards

Guest Relations Executive

Vicky Zammit

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa

Address: Marfa Bay, Mellieha, Island of Malta MLH02, Malta
Location: Malta > Island of Malta > Mellieha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Mellieha
#6 Family Hotel in Mellieha
#7 Luxury Hotel in Mellieha
#7 Spa Hotel in Mellieha
Price Range: $37 - $588 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 353
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Riviera Hotel Mellieha
The Riviera Resort And Spa
Riviera Hotel Mellieha
LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa Malta/Mellieha

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